Sunday, January 25, 2009

Our Amusements Are Dulling Our Minds

Our pastor back home in Texas has spoken before of the "literal definition of amuse".

"a"-- negative/not (as in "athiest"-- not a theist)
"muse" -- to think or consider

Therefore, the literal definition is that to be amused is to not think. [insert congregation laughing with amusement]

Let's admit it: we are a people who love to be amused. We laugh ourselves silly over comedians like Ferrell and Carell (and we includes me!); we watch TV shows to fill our weeks; we rent movies to fill our weekends. Video games have taken over much of the leisure time in boys' bedrooms and on college campuses around the nation. Internet usage has become a requirement for life. Even in the Christian community, we amuse ourselves ad nauseum. There are Christian comedians, Christian romance novels, Christian fiction... and on and on and on.

It would be shocking for the average American to live in the world of just 20 years ago, without the internet, e-mail, GPS, cell phones, Twitter, Facebook, (and blogs...). And I'm not suggesting that we pitch our laptops off the nearest bridge, so stay with me.

But we need to examine how we use these things. We are in danger of being lulled to sleep, mentally, emotionally, culturally, and SPIRITUALLY-- by our amusements. When our days and nights are filled with technology, news, and fantasy games, and our homes, garages, and storage buildings are filled with toys, electronics, appliances, decorations, stuff, stuff, stuff, stuff, stuff..., our minds are in danger of being overtaken, not only by our stuff (although I would argue that most Americans are indeed fixated on stuff), and not only by our amusements (although I would argue that most Americans are indeed fixated on amusements), but also by a creeping indifference to the dying, the poor, the uneducated, the spiritually dead people around the world.

While we upgrade our video games and buy the latest software and litter our children's rooms with educational toys (and yet, ironically, our children are less educated than any previous generation), and our teenagers drive cars the likes of which our parents would never have dreamed to have driven, even in adulthood, meanwhile, the world around us is in critical need of a Savior. In need of Bibles in their language. In need of people who will physically tell them. In need of more than the spiritually-bankrupt materialism and sexuality our culture is selling them. In need of Christ!

Oh how desperately they need Him. And though His coming hastens closer every day, our culture woos us, working to dull our minds, our hearts, and our desires (as well as the minds, hearts, and desires of every culture around the world desperately trying to be as wealthy and "happy" as America) to the things of God. Even in our Christian culture and in our churches... we are, all too often, fixating on stuff and on amusements rather than on intentional, prudent, judicious use of the resources God has given us to further HIS Kingdom.

Oh, God, have mercy on us. Save us from ourselves and our common drift into comfort and ease and that which entertains. Help us to do whatever it takes to wake up to the spiritual complacency we've developed in our fixation on amusement. Wake us up to the priorities of YOUR Kingdom!


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